Are you facing drug charges or suspect that you are under investigation? The Law Offices of Hernandez & Hamilton, PC, has years of experience with drug-related criminal cases. From trafficking illegal drugs to possession, your experienced Phoenix criminal defense attorney can help fight your criminal charges.
It is essential that you seek legal counsel as soon as you can. Your freedom could be at risk, and the case against you will continue to build while you hesitate. There are important time-sensitive deadlines that exist. The time to act is now. Not every drug crime attorney is qualified to obtain the results you need, so it’s crucial that you choose the right one.
If you are facing drug crime charges or a profound felony conviction, the Law Office of Hernandez & Hamilton, PC wants to hear from you.
Misdemeanor and Felony Drug-Related Charges We Handle
Our Phoenix drug crimes attorney handles many drug charges, including:
- Drug possession charges
- Drug trafficking
- Drug distribution
- Drug manufacturing and cultivation
- Driving under the influence of drugs
- Dangerous drugs
- Narcotic drugs
- Possession of drug paraphernalia
- Prescription drug crimes
If you are facing a drug charge, you need to have an established Phoenix criminal defense lawyer by your side right away. We will work to establish a strong case and defend against any potential drug crime charges.
The U.S. Government could become involved if your case consists of smuggling or transporting large amounts of a controlled substance. Any time a criminal investigation involves federal crime, particularly in the area of narcotics offenses, the consequences can become more severe.
Federal law enforcement agencies such as the FBI, the DEA, and HSI (among others) routinely handle federal drug investigations and have an incredible amount of resources to help them find and apprehend potential offenders.
Oftentimes, cases investigated by federal law enforcement agencies are handled in federal courts by federal prosecutors, however, it is rather common for federal agencies to request state court prosecutors to bring the cases in Arizona state courts. Usually this is done for tactical purposes.
Just as in federal courts, in Arizona state courts, felony drug crimes typically result in harsh mandatory sentences, especially for repeat offenders.
Punishment For Felony Drug Crimes In Arizona
First-time felony offense:
- Class 2 – Carries a minimum of three years and a maximum of twelve and a half years
- Class 3 – Carries a minimum of two and a half years and a maximum of eight and three quarter years
- Class 4 – Carries a minimum of one year and a maximum of three and three quarter years
- Class 5 – Carries a minimum of six months and a maximum of two and a half years
- Class 6 – Carries a minimum of four months and a maximum of two years
Repeat felony offenders face increased sentencing rangers, depending on their classification. Violent and dangerous felony offenders have different sentencing ranges as well. Cases involving the sale or commercial manufacture of methamphetamine carry a minimum of five calendar years and a maximum of fifteen calendar years.
Arizona Drug Laws and Drug Courts
Drug-addicted offenders who break drug laws are tried in specialized courts, often called “drug courts” or Drug Treatment Alternatives to Prison (“DTAP”). Drug courts are interested in helping those addicted to drugs through treatment programs and supervision.
Unlike regular courts, drug courts team up with treatment programs to rehabilitate offenders instead of jail time. That helps to reduce the likelihood of repeated future crimes.
Expunging Drug Charges in Arizona
Unlike other states that call the process of clearing your criminal record “expungement,” Arizona refers to it as setting aside a previous conviction. Arizona allows this in order to restore your rights after a drug conviction. However, in 2020, Arizona voters passed Proposition 207, also known as the Smart and Safe Arizona Act, which for the first time paved the way for an expungement process of certain criminal convictions involving small amounts of marijuana.
Over the Threshold Amount
In the State of Arizona, if you break criminal law by possessing various amounts of drugs, you could face compulsory jail time. In other words, persons convicted in Arizona of crimes involving drugs in an amount that exceeds the statutory threshold amount are subjected to mandatory minimum prison sentences. Arizona’s threshold amounts include:
- One gram of heroin
- Nine grams of cocaine
- Nine grams of methamphetamine
- Two points of marijuana
- For other substances, generally an amount exceeding a value of at least one thousand dollars
The threshold amount depends on the type of drug found in your possession. Never assume that you will automatically go straight to jail since you were charged with drug possession over the threshold amount. Oftentimes, police and prosecutors use inaccurate methods to “weigh” the substances to determine the quantities involved. Your Phoenix drug lawyer can argue and debate this amount and try to get you a lowered sentence.
Are Synthetic Drugs Illegal?
In Arizona, synthetic drugs are considered to be as illegal as organic drugs. Penalties for synthetic drug cases are generally the same regardless of whether the drug is manufactured or organic.
In the State of Arizona, Proposition 200 was designed to protect those charged with multiple drug crimes, thereby guaranteeing more lenient sentences for first and second-time offenses.
What are Different Drug Schedules?
Controlled substances are classified by their level of dependency and curative value.
Schedule V controlled substances are the lowest level of dependency, so their penalties are lower than any other drug classification.
Schedule I drugs have the highest level of dependency and are not deemed to have medical value. Penalties for this level tend to be harsher than other classifications.
What to Do After You’ve Been Arrested for a Drug Crime
It’s essential that you understand how to act, what you shouldn’t do, and what you should do if you are arrested for drug offenses. Arizona drug convictions can be strict, so it is vital that you are cautious of your actions.
What You Should Do After an Arrest
- Never be rude or difficult. Always try to be polite to any responding officers
- Write down the badge number and name of law enforcement
- Take notes of the incident to keep details fresh
- Let your Phoenix drug crimes attorney know every detail of the drug crime
- Do not discuss your criminal defense case with anyone else
The most important thing you can do is get in touch with a criminal law professional and not speak to police officers until you do. Remember, anything you say can and will be used against you and can harm your case.
What You Should NOT Do After an Arrest
- Never resist arrest! Hiding or running from police officers could make things much worse for you
- Do not try to fight with the police or engage in physical contact
- Do not talk to police about any aspect of your arrest until your drug defense attorney gets there
- Do not allow police to search your vehicle or property unless they have a warrant
- Do not discuss your drug offenses case with anyone outside of your lawyer
- Never hide any details from your lawyer
How Law Office Of Hernandez & Hamilton, PC Can Help
Have you been arrested for a drug crime? Your Arizona criminal defense lawyer can help you. We fight diligently for the best outcome possible, not just the quickest or easiest.
Hiring a drug crime lawyer for drug possession, drug trafficking, and any other drug charges is necessary to avoid compulsory prison time. We will fight to lessen your charges if possible.
Your criminal defense lawyer can be vital because you could currently be under investigation and you may be speaking with confidential informants or undercover cops without even knowing. Anything you say from here on out could be used against you by the prosecution. We take the necessary steps to attack the prosecution’s case and protect your rights by using the full extent of our drug offense law offices.
We go over every aspect of your arrest, the search and seizure, and the investigation by asking the following questions:
- Did the officers have probable cause for a warrant?
- Did the officers have probable cause for a wiretap?
- Did the officers go beyond the scope of the warrant?
- How reliable is the government’s informant?
- Is the informant willing to say what is necessary to help their cause?
- Do the circumstances and amount of drugs in your case warrant trafficking charges or intent to sell?
Our Phoenix drug lawyer can help you determine the answers to these incredibly relevant questions and use them to create a solid defense for your drug charges. We have an extensive history of assisting defendants in similar scenarios.
Arizona does not take drug crimes lightly. The penalties for perpetrating drug crimes are among the most stringent in the United States.
If you have broken criminal law by committing a Phoenix drug crime, you should call our law offices as soon as you can.